Are women safer drivers than men? The age old debate…

Drive safely with help from Logbook Loans.


It’s the age old debate. Are women safer drivers than men? 

We all have opinions on whether men or women are better drivers. Many of these are cliches. Some would claim that men are more decisive drivers whereas others may interpret this as being impatient or aggressive. Others say that women can be over cautious, but some think that this is actually a good thing – safer and more considerate. 

As a nation we have been driving cars since the late 19th century. In the early days, driving was dominated by men. The first woman to own and drive a car in the UK was the actress Minnie Palmer, in 1897. And the first British woman to pass a driving test, in 1900, was Vera Hedges Butler; although she had to take the test in Paris as driving tests were not introduced in the UK until 1935.


The woman driver has come to stay

In May 1914, the Guardian published an article about women drivers which opened with the words “Whatever the case for or against her, the woman driver has come to stay”. The article started by explaining that if a family had a car and the man of the house was working, it made sense for the woman to learn to drive so that they could chauffeur the family around. 

It then claimed that “women are naturally rather good drivers”. The main reasons it gave for this were that women drivers were unusually careful because they had no desire to harm themselves whilst driving, and also had peculiar care for those in the car with them. The article concluded that not only were women drivers here to stay, but that cars would prove to be an instrument of emancipation for them.


Evidence to show that women are safer drivers

At Logbook Loans we were interested to read some research late last year by which examined the performance of male and female drivers in four areas:

  • Driving test pass rates
  • Motoring offences
  • Car insurance claims
  • Annual mileage

The results proved interesting. They found that women tend to take longer to get on the road than men, with a higher driving test fail rate than men. But once women are on the road, they commit fewer traffic offences than men, and also submit fewer insurance claims.

Of the sample of 2000 drivers researched, the annual mileage driven was around the same for both the men and the women. So this particular research does conclude that women are safer drivers than men.

However, there are things that we can all do to become safer drivers. Our recent article What to do in a car accident has lots of useful information as to how to drive safely and avoid car accidents, including:

  • Be considerate
  • Be aware
  • Be visible
  • Stick to speed limits
  • Keep your distance

You can read the full article here.


The bad habits of male and female drivers

As an interesting follow up from the above, the research also found that male drivers tend to have more bad habits than women whilst behind the wheel. Habits that could also be dangerous, as can be seen from the image below:

In our recent article Are you driving legally, we looked at some of the more obscure driving laws in the UK. For example, one of these refers to doing any non-essential activity at the wheel, which would apply to the first two activities on the above list.

But take a look through, and if you are guilty of any of the above activities while driving – whether male or female – you need to stop doing it now to be safer on the road for everyone.


We hope that the above information is helpful and will encourage all of us to become safer drivers and enjoy many happy years of safe motoring.